Renan Barao at UFC 138With UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz on the shelf for several more months, interim champ Renan Barao will next defend his belt against Michael McDonald in early 2013.

Cruz’s injury rehabilitation was expected to get him back in action in the first part of next year, but a setback put him on the surgeon’s table once again, further delaying his return.

In his absence, the UFC already crowned an interim champion in Renan Barao, and now the 135-pound titleholder will defend his belt.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the news via UFC Tonight on Fuel TV on Tuesday evening.

No date has been announced by the promotion, but sources have indicated when speaking to MMAWeekly.com that a Barao vs. McDonald fight would likely take place in the first few months of 2013.

McDonald has already been out since April of this year when he knocked out former WEC champion Miguel Torres. Following that fight, McDonald had surgery on his hand, but is now back in full training mode and preparing for a fight.

McDonald told MMAWeekly Radio just days ago that he could be ready as early as the end of January, and with Barao sitting out since July, it’s likely the pairing will be made sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest UFC news and fight updates.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Renan Barao: T.J. Dillashaw is 'not a champion, he's a joker'

  • 11 days ago
  • 11 views

Say hello to the new and grim-faced Renan Barao. Do you remember the old Renan Barao? The one that always had a smile on his face, never had a bad thing to say? Well, that old Renan Barao is gone. Fo read news >>

Renan Barao on T.J. Dillashaw: 'He's Not a Champion—He's a Joker'

  • 11 days ago
  • 5 views

The rapid, ever-changing landscape of MMA becomes all too real with the mere mention of former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao. Around this time last year, the Brazilian world-beater was widely read news >>

Renan Barao: T.J. Dillashaw is 'not a champion -- he's a joker'

  • 12 days ago
  • 34 views

Renan Barao doesn't think T.J. Dillashaw is a good representative of the UFC bantamweight title. The Brazilian former champ said that he does not agree with how Dillashaw presents himself to the publ read news >>

UFC Fight Night 65's Mark Hunt: 'Stipe doesn't do anything better than me'

  • 15 days ago
  • 7 views

Mark Hunt’s rise to interim UFC heavyweight title contender has been one of the best stories in MMA in recent years. For Hunt, however, coming up short in his bid for a title is not good enough.Filed read news >>

Colby Covington steps in for Sean Spencer against Mike Pyle at UFC 187

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

With Sean Spencer on the shelf for UFC 187, Mike Pyle now has a new opponent in the unbeaten Colby Covington.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Former UFC champion Rashad Evans talks injury and rehab: 'I've reached out to GSP, Dominick Cruz' for support

  • 22 days ago
  • 24 views

Rashad Evans speaks with MMAmania regarding his latest setback and how he has been handling a substantial amount of time off. When Rashad Evans returns, as he projected, in fall 2015, it will be clos read news >>

Anthony Johnson willing to 'be like Vitor and wait a year' for Jon Jones

  • 25 days ago
  • 78 views

Jon Jones is currently slated to defend his long-held light heavyweight title against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson on May 23 at UFC 187, but that could change soon. Jones turned himself in to the Albuque read news >>

Updated Report: Champ Jon Jones' UFC 187 Title Bout in Jeopardy

  • 26 days ago
  • 24 views

Jon Jones may not defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson this May as originally scheduled. Unnamed sources confirmed the news Sunday evening to MMAWeekly.com. (UPDATE: Though read news >>

Keys to Victory! UFC 186: 'Johnson vs. Horiguchi'

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson aims to defend his title for a sixth successful time when he takes on Japanese Karate standout Kyoji Horiguchi inside of the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada read news >>